On Sunday, Aug. 28, a group of approximately 20 local youth met, as part of a non-denominational Youth Mission Group which is currently forming. They met at St. John Lutheran Church in Jourdanton, for an evening of games, food and most of all, to further plan all aspects of the group.
The group is the brainchild of Michele Higginbotham and Liz Edwards. Each year, Jourdanton United Methodist Church and St. John team up in the summer for Vacation Bible School. The two women discussed how they should get the church youth together to perform mission work.
Ideas that Higginbotham talked about with her daughter included building ramps for the elderly, donating to CAM, donating Bibles and food to Haven for Hope in San Antonio, etc.
We want the kids to be able to come and have some good Christian fellowship, but we want it to be mission-minded so they are not just thinking, What fun are we having today? Are we going bowling today? I want them to also think about what they can do to help, said Higginbotham.
She also met with Paul Jones at Cowboy Fellowship, who told her about the upcoming Rewild Youth Conference on Sept. 30-Oct. 1. The event will feature The Digital Age, Mentalist Drew Worsham and Vertical Praise, testimonies and more.
Higginbotham shared that she feels that this younger generation is more aware of what is going on in the world and how they can help.
We want them to be the hands and feet of Christ. Everybody always says that somebody else will help them . . . Lets be that somebody that does those things, said Higginbotham.
The group first met in mid-August, with approximately 15-20 youth and five-six adults. Those interested in the group, but unable to make the meeting sent her a message on Facebook.
At the second meeting on Aug. 28, Liz Edwards led the youth on Bible reading activities and then awarded candy to the first person to find a particular Bible verse. They were also asked to list the Ten Commandments.
The youth then made Scriptures Survival Kits and their mission was to give the kit to someone outside of the group. They made the kits by placing different items in a baggie. A rubber band represented flexibility and erasers showed that everyone makes mistakes and it is okay. Chewing gum reminded them that if you stick with it, you can accomplish anything with Jesus. Pencils reminded them to list their blessings each day.
After playing a couple of other games as they formed a circle, the children ate pizza and talked about possible names of the group, T-shirt design and colors. They agreed on the name of Jesus Freaks, a good conversation starter.
Higginbotham found two definitions of the term Jesus Freaks and found: 1.) Someone who is so radically committed to Jesus that they would rather lay down their life than deny Him. 2.) A believer in Christ who is committed, enthusiastic and continuing to grow.
She hopes that children who attend the meetings will then pass the word to others. There is not a specific age range to join the Youth Mission Group.
If you come, we will find something for you, said Higginbotham. We will make it work.
While the meetings are facilitated by adults, Higginbotham and Edwards want the youth members to have a say in what activities and mission work they do. They want the youth to take ownership of it.
The group meets twice a month, on the second and fourth Sunday of the month at St. John Lutheran Church in Jourdanton at 5 p.m. They hope to see you at the next meeting.